Former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, left, and Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva share a lighter moment near the end of their debate as they both like the TV show Big Bang Theory and both are Dodgers fans.

Los Angeles Sheriff’s candidates took the stage in a heated hourlong debate on Wednesday night.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his opponent, former police chief Robert Luna discussed law enforcement gangs.
Villanueva sidestepped the question and accused Luna of being in one. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva dodged the allegations of law enforcement gangs in the department at a debate on Wednesday night at the Skirball Cultural Center.

“‘Deputy gangs’ has become a political buzzword and it’s just like unicorns,” Villanueva said Wednesday night. “Everybody knows what a unicorn looks like, but I challenge you, name one. Name a single deputy gang member and I have yet to hear that.”

Villanueva has previously been accused of enabling so-called deputy gangs, or unauthorized groups within the department, some of which are facing allegations of mistreatment.

Following reports and lawsuits, he has repeatedly denied their existence and has attempted to interfere with an investigation into them, according to a lawsuit filed by LASD sergeant claiming that Villanueva tried to stave off testimony from a witness.

The debate was between the two candidates for Sheriff, the incumbent Villanueva, and challenger former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna. The two emerged as the top two candidates following Los Angeles County’s primary held in June.

Luna, who has since been endorsed by seven of his former primary challengers, argued that Villanueva’s remarks prove his resistance to cracking down on deputy gangs.

“You just heard, he doesn’t acknowledge they exist. Can’t fix a problem you don’t know exists,” Luna said.

He then went …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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